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11 South Square - 12 Months - October 2023

AETO information
Name of AETO:
11 South Square
Head of AETO:
Iain Purvis QC
Address of AETO:
11 South Square, Grays Inn, London
AETO's email:
AETO's website address:
Main practice area:
Intellectual Property
Practice areas:
Intellectual Property; Information Technology; Media and Entertainment
Specialist services:
Arbitration; Mediation; CLIPS; International Arbitration; Pro Bono
Number of junior tenancies (in the last three years):
Pupillage vacancy information
Number of pupillages:
Financial support level:
£50,000 - £59,999
Closing date:
9 February 2022 at 2:00 PM
Pupillage start date:
2 October 2023
Pupillage type:
12 month pupillage
11 South Square is a leading set of chambers specialising in intellectual property law. It is also well-known for its media and information technology work. With many of its recent cases setting precedents in all areas of IP law, 11 South Square continues to be very highly regarded in the field. Members are often singled out for the excellent quality of advocacy and advice provided.

Work undertaken: Members of 11 South Square regularly appear before the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court as well as the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court and the UK Intellectual Property Office. Its barristers also appear before the European Patent Office.

Representation and advice in patent matters is an important part of chambers’ work. The command and conduct of such cases requires a thorough understanding of the science and technology involved. Due to their technical expertise, many members act in general commercial disputes involving computer software, IT and other technologies.

11 South Square has been involved in many of the recent important cases in the areas of trade marks, passing off, design right, copyright, performers’ rights, confidential information and also the law of privacy, personality and celebrity endorsement. Some members have particular expertise in disputes involving data protection and have appeared extensively in cases before the Information Tribunal.

Notable recent cases include: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals v Kymab (Supreme Court case involving a patent for transgenic mice); Facebook v Voxer (patent trial regarding telecommunications messaging systems); Philip Morris v RAI Strategic Holdings (patent trial regarding ‘heat-not-burn’ tobacco technology); easyGroup v Easylife (claim for trade mark infringement and passing off relating to use of brand names containing the word ‘easy’); Original Beauty Technology v Oh Polly (claims for unregistered design right infringement and passing off involving two fast fashion brands).

The Set: Chambers currently has 18 barrister tenants, seven of whom are Queen’s Counsel, headed by Iain Purvis QC. It also has two door tenants, Professor Lionel Bently and Sir Christopher Floyd PC, previously a judge of the Court of Appeal. Its recent former members also include current Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Arnold, the late Lord Justice Pumfrey and Mr Justice Henry Carr and the permanent judge of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, His Honour Judge Hacon.

Pupillage details: Up to two, 12 months, £55,000 (including £10,000 which may be drawn down by the successful applicant during the postgraduate Bar course year). There is a review of pupillage after six months. Since October 2014, Chambers has had 8 pupils. Four of those have become tenants and one is Chambers’ current pupil. New tenants can expect to earn more than their pupillage award in their first years of practice, and in some cases they have earned significantly more.

There is a minimum requirement of at least one grade A at A-level or equivalent (excluding general studies) and a 2:i at undergraduate degree. Candidates that have not satisfied the minimum criteria will only be considered if they have provided an adequate explanation in their application form. There is also a minimum “IP interest/aptitude” requirement, whereby an application form must demonstrate that the candidate has an interest in or aptitude for intellectual property law.

The selection process typically involves three stages: (1) application form, (2) written assessment and (3) interview(s). Chambers is committed to recruiting the most able pupils regardless of background and to equality and diversity in every aspect of Chambers life and work. Each stage of the pupillage selection process is designed to further this commitment.

The majority of successful pupils have a science degree or qualification of that level of expertise. This is not a minimum selection criterion but will be taken into account by chambers when selecting pupils. Most importantly we are looking for candidates with a sharp mind who are capable of independent thought and expressing their views articulately and persuasively.

Chambers is committed to fulfil its duty to make a ‘reasonable adjustment’ where necessary to enable a disabled person to be recruited as a pupil. Inquiries as to, or requests for, reasonable adjustments should be made in the first instance to the senior clerk, Ashley Carr.
Application Questions

The following questions will form the Pupillage Application Questionnaire section of the application form for this pupillage vacancy. These are included here to allow you to prepare in advance.

  1. BC1: Why do you believe you will make a good barrister? In your answer, please identify any relevant experiences or skills that you believe may help you in your career (200 words)
  2. BC2: Why do you want to join our chambers? In your answer, please give reasons for your choice of chambers and explain why you are interested in our areas of practice (200 words)
  3. Please explain why you believe you have sufficient aptitude for scientific and technical matters to act in patent cases and other cases involving scientific or technical subject matter. (200 words)
How to apply
To apply, please click on the Apply Online link below and then complete the online application form.